Does The Batman Franchise Need To Be Rebooted?

Based on @rookrulz’s thread about not having enjoyed the regular Batman series for some time and the comments of how people seem to be getting very tired of Batman being 100% all-knowing and all-seeing every second of every day, this made me think that maybe the Batman comic line should be rebooted.

Think about it. Batman is a crime fighter, first and foremost. Bob Kane and Bill Finger didn’t make him out to be someone who has dozens of contingency plans, safehouses around the world, fleets of vehicles and the like. He’s a human, mortal, man that fights crime to avenge the deaths of his parents and to protect Gotham City as best he can while working with other characters/teams on occassion.

DC likes to say Batman is relatable because he’s human and anyone can push themselves to achieve their goals like Batman does. How relatable is that character when he has evolved into someone who always outthinks everyone, never has an “Oops, I didn’t plan for that.” moment and has an entire Dark Multiverse in his image (this coming from a huge Metal fan BTW)?

I think a reboot of the Batman line would work as follows:

  1. Scale back the number of titles. The new line would consist of three series: Batman, Detective Comics and The World of Batman.

As always, Batman would showcase his standard superhero adventures while 'Tec showcases the detective side of Batman. Nothing’s broken in that regard, so there’s nothing to fix.

The BIG change is that there are no longer any starring titles for his allies. Everything is condensed into The World of Batman monthly ongoing anthology series which would feature rotating stories starring Batman’s allies helmed by different creative teams. A six issue arc with Red Hood here, a one and done with Robin there, a four issue arc with a team-up of some kind, maybe a back-up feature on occassion, etc.

  1. Batman would be human again. Sure, he’s still the ultimate human badass who scares the criminal element, but he also smiles from time to time and makes mistakes.

No more “I already thought of that.” contingencies, no more dozens and dozens of vehicles, back-up Batcaves, plans for beating alternate universe versions of himself, etc. That’s all out the window.

When Batman related comics sold over a million copies every month decades and decades ago, it’s because readers enjoyed how Batman scared the criminal element but also because they enjoyed the idea that Batman was a normal, fallable person who achieved greatness because of how he pushed himself. They saw themselves in him.

  1. There would be no continuity or numbering changes whatsoever. The current volumes of Batman and Detective would just be marked as having new starting points as of fill in the blank number of each series.

The World of Batman (and that’s a working title) would be the only book starting at #1.

So…what do you think? Should the Batman line be rebooted and are the ideas suggested feasible, or do you have a different approach?

Sound off below!


Honestly, I really like that writers have the freedom to interpret the character how they like. I would worry that if DC were to reboot the character and make him more human, it would limit the writers’ creativity. Now, if a writer were to come in with their own interpretation of the character that was more grounded in reality, that would be a different story. Right now the precedent is that Batman is a superhuman freak of nature, but if a writer were to break that precedent, it could free up future writers to do the same with the character, and promote a diverse interpretation of Batman that would be entertaining for readers, and artistically compelling for writers. That’s just my take, though.

1 Like

I do think that the Grant Morrison take on Batman has been done to death, and I prefer him as a more fallible character. However, I don’t want to see the ally books cut from the line. Those supporting characters offer far more diversity than resident rich white guy Bruce Wayne provides, and they help reign in DC’s desire to make every single one of their books a Batman title. Batwoman, Batgirl, and Nightwing offer plenty of material for solo books, and the Rebirth 'Tec run showed that Red Robin, Spoiler, Batwing, and Orphan make for a good team that can carry a monthly title. We could probably get another team book out of Red Hood, Bluebird, Azrael, and Signal (perhaps a new Outlaws team?).

1 Like

I personally like the planning and contingencies, it just feels like that’s what batman would do, making him lose once in a while will be good though because it legitimizes the threat but him retaining his mystical aura is important because then him losing won’t feel as special, example if superman is outsmarted it doesn’t feel too unpredictable since he is not portrayed as a tactical genius, but if it was batman, the threat is more serious.
Basically, keep batman’s aura, give him a few losses and that should be fine to me.
Also, comic book characters evolve all the time, keeping batman the exact same as his first incarnation would not be very wise. Batman is one of DC’S most versatile heroes and all the big cosmic events don’t take away from the smaller more grounded ones.
To me, batman’s prep time thing is justifiable based on his obsessive nature, it would be improbable for him to not try to make plans for as many scenarios as he can

  • I kinda like the larger than life Batman that has contingency plans for his contingency plans. One of things I always look forward to in his stories is “how you gonna get outta this one?”. However, as far as humanizing him goes, I think King is doing just that right now. I mean this is the lowest point I’ve ever seen Bruce at, will be cool to see him “rising” from it. Don’t really think a reboot is necessary since I’m enjoying the character as is. However:

  • I like the idea of not only reducing the number of Batman related titles, but making him less of the focal point of DC. Not gonna happen of course, since he’s the cash cow.

  • I also like the idea of injecting a little levity into his world. Not Batman 66 level camp, but like you said…having him smile and be a little happy (occasionally) would be a nice change.


Honestly I like most of Batman’s supporting cast more than Batman himself. Cutting their books is not the way I’d go at all.


I like the contingencies when they’re used sparingly and the times they are used are well executed. What I dislike are what I like to call “Because I’m Batman” moments. What is an “Because I’m Batman” moment? It’s any time Batman does anything completely impossible because he’s Batman. Example:

Villain: You’ve fallen for my mind control that’s impossible to resist

Batman: No

Villain: How?

Batman: Because I’m Batman

That’s the kind of lazy writing I hate. The contingencies don’t always have to be a “Because I’m Batman” moment, and not all “Because I’m Batman” moments are contingencies. But almost every “Because I’m Batman” moment feels like a shortcut that writers use to skip telling a story. It boils down to this:

Reader: Why?

Writer: Because.

That’s annoying. Now “Because I’m Batman” moments do have one really good use… humor. Skipping things can be funny if executed well. Take for example Batman (2016-) #4. I don’t typically like Tom King’s Batman, especially his kind of sad attempts at humor throughout the series, but this issue contains a scene I found to be really funny. It’s a total “Because I’m Batman” moment, but it works because it’s played for humor and not connected to anything that needs serious explanation. We can fill in the blanks about how Batman found and snuck into a military base.

So anyways that’s one of the only things that I think needs to really change. Maybe scaling back the scope of the stories would also work, but there have been plenty of smaller stories alongside the big ones in other Bat books.

If they were to go with your plan, I would change “The World of Batman” to “Gotham Knights”.

If I were to change anything else, I would have Detective Comics center around the Guild of Detection introduced in Detective Comics #1000.


Also cutting the books of all of Batman’s allies is a bad idea. They each have a lot of fans and sell well.


Interesting thoughts folks. Thanks for the free market research :wink:

1 Like

I’ve been saying this for a long time. Batman should be taken back-to-basics. Make him a street-level vigilante again. Year One is a perfectly distilled quintessential Batman story. Use that as a framework for tone and approach for a foundation going forward.


Yes, “I have a contingency for chickens organizing a secret takeover of Wyoming and declaring a sovereign hostile state” can be ridiculous. But, of course Batman should have thought “how do I stop this alien super being /ring/telepath/etc. he’s a man playing on the level of Demi-gods, paranoia and preparation are essential to just surviving. Do you want a Batman who hasn’t prepared and planned for both the high probability/low impact (bank robbery) and the low probability/devastating impact (alien fleet attacks) events in a world where these things happen on a semi-regular basis. Batman is an analyst and an operator, don’t take away half of his tool kit.


You know, it’s funny, people keep saying that Batman should be “less grim” and “smile more” and “be more human and fallible,” and yet…that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for YEARS. Scott Snyder, Tom King, even Grant Morrison have ALL done these exact things you’re asking them to do, and for some people, I just don’t think it’s ever going to be enough.

Bruce Wayne/Batman is a stoic, driven character, who keeps his emotions to himself and his close circle of family. He’s a good man who can be bright and joyful, but because of the trauma put on him at a young age, suffers at times from depression and mania, often isolating himself from his family, even though it hurts them and him, but he always finds his place again.

That’s just who he is.

1 Like

@Jay_Kay, I think you may be right about King in particular making Batman more human and fallible. Everything he’s done so far, especially from the moment he proposed to Catwoman onwards, has done just that for me. The scene in a recent issue where Alfred basically tells him he’s lost it was rather compelling.

Really like your description of Batman in the second paragraph, you kinda made me feel bad for suggesting that he smile more :joy:.

While I agree about the problem, I’m not feeling the solution. Definitely don’t get rid of the supporting titles. Plus, it should still be clear that Batman is a very smart guy with a lot of resources who fights with his brain first and foremost. So, I’m for some vehicles, some backup batcaves, and some contingency plans. Enough that he’s relevant in comparison to the Justice League but not overpowered in comparison to his own enemies. I’ll repeat something I said in one of the “controversial opinions” threads:

In every Batman story, he should lose one fight (or equivalent conflict), crack one joke (doesn’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny, just a quick, dry one-liner), and, without external prompting, do one nice thing for someone else that doesn’t involve punching someone in the face. Doing those three things would immensely improve how the character is written.

And let me be clear: Tom King actually kind of gets this right. I can’t stand his plots, pacing, or dialogue, but he’s far from the worst writer when it comes to Bruce’s actual personality.

But really, the more important thing plotwise is that we need more plots where the villain’s goal does not hinge on Batman. We need more of Batman stepping in and saving the day in situations that don’t directly concern him, because that’s what a superhero is supposed to do.


Actually, here’s a thought: If they’re not going to give us Oracle back, at least let Batman do Oracle’s job. To use a term from the Spider-Man movies, he can be the JLA’s guy-in-the-chair, and then go home to Gotham to punch serial killers, keeping him relevant on both levels without being unbelievable or overpowered in either place.

1 Like

Am I the only one who feels Superman is losing his appeal?

Batman will still be Batman to new and old fans. Superman I feel like appeals to the older audience more instead of the newer ones. Currently (Immortal) Hulk is having a resurgence. It’s even outselling Batman. If Hulk can do that, someone in DC must know how to make Superman more interesting.

1 Like

I do like Year One type Batman stories where he doesn’t completely have his stuff together. I would think about an Elseworlds where we don’t know if he’s preordained to become The Batman. I think one mistake Gotham made was not saying “this is our world there are no guarantees”

1 Like
  1. I love the supporting cast series and so do other people which is why they exist.

  2. I largely agree. Begone, Batgod!

  3. Never going to happen. I’m not sure I’d even want it to happen. I like continuity, but sometimes, you need to clean up some mistakes through retcons.


Yes, because as Flashpoint taught us, reboots fix everything.
Seriously, Batman doesn’t need a reboot. He, Cassandra and others are in need of something more like a system restore. Uninstall some of the overused programs and apps like BatGod-dot-run, outright delete the Harper Row virus to bring things back to before it started going really downhill (if more for some than others), and keep things focused on more street level stuff at least, and fringe science at most.
Give stuff like Metal a rest, and if you want something a bit more fantastical, maybe don’t stray more outlandish than “The Golem of Gotham”, either with mysticism or science.


I think cutting the supporting cast titles would kill off a good bit of the fan base. So, that’s bad.

I also don’t think they should reboot the character. There are too many ties to the rest of the universe.

Honestly, I think a good writer would be able to solve this problem within a year. For example…

What would Batman do if the other heroes no longer wanted his help? What if they simply got tired of his know it all attitude, or his back stabbing and plans to take them out?

According to his current personality, he’d respond by taking more responsibility on his own shoulders. He’d need more contingencies, more planning, more vehicles, more side kicks. Eventually, Fox starts complaining about the problem of hiding the massive amount of funding. Dick and Tim start telling Bruce to take it easy. Alfred finds some new kid in the mansion, and have never even met the person.

All subtle clues that Batman’s stretching to much.

Some of the new side kicks aren’t trained well. They get the crap beaten out of them, they quit in the middle of missions, they fail; they might even steal some of that pricey equipment as they run away from truly terrifying villains.

Eventually, even Batman sees that his war on crime is failing. Someone broke into Wayne medical center and took off with hundreds of opioids. Batman catches a junkie (not even a dealer), and the kid swallows a handful, because he’s terrified of Batman. The kid OD’s in Batman’s arms on pills from Wayne free clinic. Turns out, this was a random theft; the was no kingpin behind anything. None of the major villians were involved. Wayne finds out that the junkie had a family, and his wife and kids are all addicted…

Batman takes inventory of his life and his mission. Now, he decides to get back to basics. On his own terms. He turns his back on celestial crisis. Perhaps he even has a talk with Superman and Wonder Woman. They say they need his help; he points out, that he simply can’t save the universe. His mission is to save Gotham, one crime at a time.

The more popular sidekicks begin gathering around him again. Dick believes in Bruce again. It’s no longer Batman and his cronies. There’s a true team spirit again.

A good writer could make this happen.

1 Like